Autos Lead Faster-Than-Expected August Canada Retail Sales Gain

Canadian retail sales rose faster than economists predicted in August, led by automobile and parts dealers.

Sales increased 0.5 percent to C$43.6 billion ($33.2 billion), the fourth consecutive increase, Statistics Canada said Thursday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 0.1 percent increase, based on the median of 19 projections.

Household spending on big-ticket items from houses to cars and appliances has been aided this year by job gains, low interest rates and a boost to incomes from cheaper gasoline. That resilience is needed with the Bank of Canada saying Wednesday the economy will be slowed through next year by a drop in energy investment.

Motor vehicle and parts sales rose 2 percent to C$11 billion, lifting the gain since August 2014 to 9.3 percent. Purchases excluding the motor vehicle and parts category were little changed at C$32.6 billion, missing an economist forecast of a 0.2 percent increase.

Furniture store sales rose 3 percent to C$1.46 billion, for a 12-month gain of 8.4 percent, Statistics Canada said. Gasoline station sales fell 0.6 percent.

The volume of total retail sales rose 0.7 percent. That measure excludes the effects of price changes and more closely reflects the industry’s contribution to economic growth.

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